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Exclusive CIES Football Observatory analysis of four Latin American leagues

For the first time, a CIES Football Observatory report turns its eye exclusively to Latin America. It analyses the squads of four leagues: the Brazilian Serie A, the Argentinean Superliga, the Chilean Primera División and the Mexican Liga MX. Il notably reveals the specificity of the Mexican league with respect to the presence of footballers imported from abroad. Expatriates account for the majority of players in line-ups, while they only play about a tenth of minutes in Brazil and Argentina. Access the study.

The report also brings to light the greater emphasis on the promotion of talents from youth academies by Argentinian teams. Boca Juniors is the most important training club, followed by three other clubs from Argentina: Vélez Sarsfield, River Plate and Newell’s Old Boys. The most important training clubs for the other three countries studied are São Paulo FC in Brazil, Atlas Guadalajara in Mexico and Universidad de Chile in Chili.

The study also shows the central role of Argentina as a provider of players for the leagues analysed. Indeed, Argentinians constitute the most numerous contingents of expatriates in Mexico, as well as in Chili and Brazil. On the contrary, only eight Brazilians are expatriated in the leagues studied (all in Mexico). The other countries with many expatriates in the championships taken into account are Colombia, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Finally, the report illustrates the specificity of the Brazilian Serie A regarding the plethora of players used by teams. This situation reflects the status of Brazil as a global source of labour par excellence. From this point of view, just playing a few matches can open the doors towards a transfer abroad, even though not in the most prestigious football countries.